Seattle’s largest suburb, which lies across Lake Washington from the Emerald City, is often described as a “boomburb” or “satellite city” of its mega-metropolitan neighbor. But Bellevue, French for “beautiful view,” has just as dramatic a glass-tower skyline, albeit smaller, that frames majestic Mount Rainier and the Cascade Range as its sister city Seattle.

Bellevue residents will tell you that this gateway to the entire Puget Sound region is a one-of-a-kind place that offers the “ultimate” in shopping, dining, and cultural attractions, all within a relaxing walking distance to the city’s plethora of quality hotels.

Walking through History and Discovering Art


Downtown Bellevue, Washington, seen from the o...

Downtown Bellevue, Washington, seen from the observation deck of the water tower, Volunteer Park, Seattle, Washington. Lake Washington can be seen in front of Bellevue, and the Cascade Range behind. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bellevue is a very walkable and arts-focused city. Its downtown area showcases approximately 130 works of public art, both indoors and out. The city offers visitors a free “ArtMap” (available on the first floor of City Hall) for the Downtown Bellevue Art Walk that explains how art is ingrained in the character of its downtown area. The city also features an Early Bellevue Walking Tour, a self-guided tour consisting of 24 sites of historical significance. If nature is more to your liking, the Bellevue Botanical Garden offers free guided tours each Saturday and Sunday, April through October.

Shopper’s Paradise

Bellevue is also touted as a Pacific Northwest shopping Mecca, with most of its shops centrally located in its downtown core. The “Bellevue Collection” includes the Bellevue Square Mall, Lincoln Square, and Bellevue Place. But, the Bellevue Collection isn’t just about shopping, as it also features fine and casual dining options, a movie theater, and copious pubs and lounges. Outside the Bellevue Collection you will find The Shops at The Bravern, whose classic architecture and lush landscaping reflect the intimate qualities of a European village, and Old Bellevue, a quaint enclave of boutiques and restaurants south of Bellevue Square.

Budget-Friendly Bellevue

If doing business in neighboring Seattle but looking for a quiet retreat from the city, the Embassy Suites Seattle Bellevue offers affordable relaxation and is only 11 miles from downtown Seattle. The hotel features an indoor pool, sauna, and fitness center. All of its guest suites include a private bedroom and separate living space. Another budget-friendly Bellevue beauty is the Coast Bellevue Hotel. Style, comfort, and convenience define the hotel, which is situated close to shopping, dining, and entertainment. The Coast Bellevue also offers its guests a complimentary shuttle anywhere within a five-mile radius of the hotel. It also features a seasonal outdoor pool.

How to Find Bellevue Bargains

Finding cheap hotels in Bellevue, even at the last minute, is simple with Hipmunk. Hipmunk, which Forbes calls “the world’s best travel site,” allows you to customize hotel search options based on neighborhoods and results are presented on local maps. Its “Tonight Only” feature allows users to find last-minute deals on their phones via iOS and Android apps. Whether browsing an array of art downtown or perusing the Bellevue Collection, which Fodor’s calls an “impressive trifecta of shopping centers,” rest-assured that you will find plenty of culture and history in this peerless, pedestrian-friendly city with a beautiful view.

What do you think about Bellevue? Any other places you’d like to travel to? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.